Text Size

3. Corno da caccia = Corno da tirarsi

I do not want to join in the discussion which baroque works shall or can be performed by hornplayers and which by trumpet-players, but I would rather call on both sides to realize the baroque sound-world. There simply is no baroque horn on which all baroque parts can be interpreted authentically. However there was a vast palette of instrument types, which offered an interesting and seamless transition from the trumpet to the hunting-horn with big bell. Please read about this matter in the front article of the menue point "Natural Horns"! There is a list, which kind of baroque horn presumingly is best for the different Bach pieces.

My "Corno da caccia"- version meets the brighter side of the sound-palette.

Corno da caccia

Corno da caccia", "Corno da tirarsi" Engelbert Schmid

Original Instrument, ca. 1730, Friedrich Ehe

Original instrument, about 1730, Friedrich Ehe in Nurenberg, in high D, with C-crook and 2 intonation pieces, out of the museum Caroline Augusteum, Salzburg

Description of my "Corno da caccia", also "Corno da tirarsi"-version:

  • Utilization: Parts for "Corno da caccia", "Corno da tirarsi", "Lituus”
  • Keys: From High D to low C (with A=415Hz), crooks.
  • Mouthpiece receiver: Normally for a shaft for horn mouthpiece. The adaptation of the shaft for a trumpet mouthpiece is acoustically no problem. With a conical mouthpipe which tapers off towards a shaft for horn mouthpiece, the instrument tunes very well in all levels and keys. The depth of the cup must be adapted to the tuning, that means the shorter the instrument, the shallower the cup. The historic normal case was a trumpet mouthpiece.
  • Bell: As a general principal handhammered, with wreath, thin wall thickness. Diameter of the bell 18,0 cm.
  • Historic Model: After Friedrich Ehe in Nurenberg, about 1730, Museum Caroline Augusteum, Salzburg.
  • Measure: Cylindrical measure part such as the original 10,6 mm.
  • Intonation: By computerized calculations the tapered measure has been improved to a better intonation.
  • Tuning slide in the center: Naturally a spontaneous topic of discussion. But clear and logical reasons argue in favour of this double tuning slide:
  1. During the baroque era there were already double slides at the trombones.
  2. The "Tromba da tirarsi" and the "Corno da tirarsi" had an extensible
  3. leadpipe. The mouthpipe was held with one hand and with the other hand the whole rest of the instrument was moved to clear up some harmonics and to reach intermediate tones. But this practice of extension was ergonomically very disadvantageous.
  4. In the baroque age the tuning slide was usually lockable at the leadpipe or between the crook and the corpus. In this manner the distance between the mouthpiece and the corpus varies a lot, which ergonomically was disadvantageous, too.
  5. I suppose that in those days simply nobody had the idea to place a double tuning slide in the middle of the corpus, and that this idea would have been adopted with gratitude, as it happened some decades later. Acoustically and what refers to its sound it remains a "Corno da caccia", though. Using "trombona superslick" this tuning slide is easily slided and thus the intonation of the so-called impure harmonics as well as the required intermediate tones can be mastered without problems. The slide is twice 17,5 cm long, thus the extension range is of 30 cm. At this model there are no finger holes.
  •  Weight: 700g with crook.

Auch ohne Hand im Schallstück hat das

Even without hand in the bell my "Corno da caccia" speaks very clearly in the high range.

4. Baroque-Corno

Beside the brighter "Corno da caccia" and "Corno da tirarsi" in the baroque age there were also several darker versions as the "Corno", the "Corne du chasse" and the "Corne parforce", with bell diameters of up to 30 cm. Either they had fixed, narrow leadpipes, or crooks which were built too wide to be well in tune.
My Baroque-"Corno" covers the darker range of the baroque horns. Possibly some "Corno da caccia" parts were also supposed for hunting horns with a narrow leadpipe. For example the original F. Ehe "Corno da caccia" speaks poorly and tunes badly if it is cylindrically elongated to F which is imperative with a shaft for trumpet mouthpiece. But with a narrow conical leadpipe, both of my baroque versions have very good acoustic characteristics, even in the darker keys. In the opinion of many, J.S. Bach's Brandenburgisches Konzert Nr. 1 should be performed on an instrument like my Baroque-"Corno".

Barock “Corno”, Engelbert Schmid

Baroque “Corno”, Engelbert Schmid

Description of my baroque "Corno" Version:

  • Utilization: Parts for "Corno", "Corne du Chasse", "Corne parforce", also some "Corno da caccia"-parts.
  • Keys: From high D to low C (with A=415 Hz), same crooks as with the “Corno da caccia".
  • Mouthpiece: Medium shallow to shallow horn mouthpiece is recommended. The depth of the cup should be adapted to the length of the instrument
  • Bell: As a general principal handhammered with wreath, thin wall thickness. Diameter of the bell 25 cm.
  • Historic model: A synthesis of J. Fr. Schwabe from Leipzig, J. H. Eichentopf from Leipzig and J. Leichamschneider from Vienna, cylindrical part of measure 10,6 mm.
  • Tuning slide in the middle: The same arguments as for the "Corno da caccia" are valid for the Baroque-"Corno", but with the slide moving toughly like normally.
  • Intonation: By computerized calculations the entire taper has been refined to a better intonation.
  • Compensation of intonation: No finger holes, as they are a very problematical solution. In the first place they are not historic and in the second place they ought to have another position for each crook (from high D to low C!). It is also not enough to correct the two tones f" and a". There are also intermediate tones in the baroque parts. A hand in the bell is a great help for a clear speaking and sound volume in the high range. If it is employed with caution and combined with lip technique, the sound quality is very well-balanced and the intonation unobjectionable.
  • Weight: 850g with F -crook.
Resonance curve Baroque - "Corno" without hand

Resonanzkurve Barock

The curve of the bell flare of a horn is too smooth to speak clearly in the high register without hand.

Resonance curve Baroque - “Corno” with hand

Resonanzkurve Barock

With a hand in the bell the high register speaks very clearly.


5.  Baroque-Corno with tuning bits


"Baroque Corno" without tuning slide

For optical reasons we also offer a Baroque Corno without tuning slide in the center, - same measure, same crooks. The pitch is adjusted by 4 different tuning bits. The distance between the horn and the lips is varying this way, what´s not ideal ergonomically, but it looks more historically. 


This water key, hidden in the back side, has a second sense: Its a C3-key! At the opened water key the C3 is coming out absolutely securely! The photo is showing the C3-key for the horn in F. With a second water key we can also "fix" the C3 on the D-horn. By the way, with this opened water key also a corrected F2 is coming out! Of course the customer may get this Baroque Corno also without this water key.  

6. Corno Da Caccia- Gottfried Reiche


"Corno da caccia", "Corno da tirarsi", "Tromba da tirarsi", after a portrait of Gottfried Reiche

Optically a vers beautiful instrument, designed according that famous portrait of Gottfried Reiche. You can get the notes in between the natural harmonics by moving the whole instrument. The singel tuning slide at the beginning needs the shaft of a trumpet mouthpiece. With one hand you hold the inside tuning slide with the mouthpiece, with the other hand you you move the whole horn in and out.